Executive Director

Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls - St. Louis, MO - Full time

Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls - St. Louis, MO - Full time

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Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls (Hawthorn) is an all-girls public charter school currently serving students in grades 6-9 in St. Louis, MO. Part of the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN), the school’s mission is to provide girls with a high-quality college preparatory education with a focus on STEM. The school offers a rigorous project-based learning approach that emphasizes problem-solving, collaboration, and real-world application of skills and knowledge. Hawthorn strives to create a safe and nurturing educational environment focused on developing girls as leaders in their communities and careers.

Founded in 2015, Hawthorn is the first all-girls public charter school in Missouri. Now in its third year of operation, the school has grown to serve 185 students in grades 6 through 9 with plans to grow into a full 6-12 grade school that will graduate 12th graders in the year 2021. Washington University serves as Hawthorn’s institutional sponsor and holds the school responsible for meeting its goals. The Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation supports the school through fundraising and community partnerships. For more information, please visit https://www.hawthornschool.org.


Hawthorn is seeking an effective communicator, skilled manager, and enthusiastic champion of the school’s mission to join the community as the next Executive Director and lead the school into its next phase of growth. S/he will be responsible for supervising finance and operations, managing the school’s senior academic and student life leadership, interfacing with the board, Washington University, and broader education community, and ensuring that the school’s vision and mission are living through its work with students every day. S/he will be a passionate advocate for Hawthorn’s work on behalf of its students and will build and maintain a thriving 6th-12th grade program that focuses on both college readiness and leadership development.

The ideal Executive Director will be passionate about leading a single-sex school that offers an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum and that also develops its young women as leaders in their communities and careers. S/he will understand the needs of middle and high school students and the context of an urban educational environment, and will be an enthusiastic builder of school processes, systems, and traditions. Any qualified Executive Director candidate must be able to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with meaningful examples of how they have led with these values in their previous work with team members and colleagues.


The Executive Director’s key responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the mission as an academic leader who knows how to align school policies, structure, and resources with instructional excellence to achieve outstanding academic results.
  • Leading the vision for Hawthorn’s success, including ensuring that school operations, the instructional program, school culture and climate, family and community engagement, and external partnerships are highly effective and tightly aligned to the school’s mission;
  • Ensuring long-term viability through prudent and attentive management to achieve academic outcomes, maintain financial viability, uphold compliance with state charter requirements, oversee efficient and effective school operations;
  • Managing the instructional leader and other senior staff by acting not only as a supervisor but also as a coach and consensus builder and by remaining deeply committed to developing and bringing out the strengths of all of Hawthorn’s people while holding them accountable for their goals and desired student outcomes;
  • Partnering with the Board of Directors, university sponsor, YWLN, and funders to secure and allocate the resources and supports necessary to maintain the health of the school, remaining solutions-oriented while pushing the boundaries of what is possible to realize the highest levels of success for Hawthorn’s youth and their community;
  • Inspiring students, families, faculty, staff and other partners to be their best selves every day, always keeping the community’s moral and ethical compass pointing in the right direction and ensuring an unyielding focus at all times on what is best for Hawthorn’s students and their futures.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director will be:

  • An accomplished leader with a minimum of 15 years professional experience and demonstrated success as a school-based administrator, nonprofit executive and/or senior manager in a setting that ensures outstanding outcomes for the children/youth they serve.
  • Graduate degree in related field required.
  • Inspiring in their management style, with experience leading leaders and willingness to devote time to coach and develop colleagues to help them prioritize workflow and to hold them accountable for measurable results.
  • Experienced in overseeing a complex organization, including human resource matters and budgeting, knowledgeable about best practices around school growth and programmatic expansion, and able to manage organizational change effectively.
  • A self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, gender identity, and other issues of difference in our society and has personally worked in similar communities to ensure that all students have an opportunity to achieve their personal dreams of post-secondary and career success.
  • Knowledgeable about the academic and social-emotional needs of adolescents, particularly high school students, as they pursue their paths towards college and career; committed to ensuring a culturally responsive learning environment where all members of the community are recognized and valued; experience working directly with high school students in an urban setting and training in trauma informed systems is preferred.
  • Able to ensure the financial health and sustainability of Hawthorn’s programs through developing strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, and working collaboratively with Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation to raise private dollars as needed.
  • Dynamic and versatile, able to engage a variety of individuals in dialogue and speak in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about the organization’s goals and priorities.


Hawthorn offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. More details can be provided upon request.


Please apply by submitting your resume and detailed cover letter which highlights your interest in the position, relevant experience, and how you meet the qualifications and qualities sought for the position online at https://goo.gl/CDYPLo. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Serena Moy at smoy@edgilityconsulting.com or at 510.575.9635.

The Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status, or other statuses protected by law. All candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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